Hello, Zennies! Today we want to talk about substance abuse during the holidays. To be honest, substance abuse during the holiday season is so common, that it’s been normalized. Spreading the “holiday cheer”, partying, and even gift-giving usually involves the use and quite often the abuse of substances.

The holidays can be hard for a person in recovery but it doesn’t have to be. Below are some tips to avoid substance abuse during the holiday season:

1). Make your recovery known. Let your family and friends know that you are not drinking/using. This way, you can be given the “heads up” and decide if a particular environment or group of people should be avoided.

2). Plan a sober gathering. Take matters into your own hands and plan a gathering for your family and friends that is substance-free! This way, you get to spend time with your loved ones during the season without the risk of substance abuse.

3). Don’t glamorize past substance use. It is common for people to inflate the role that substances play in “having a good time.” Truthfully, if you were drunk and/or high, the time you had probably wasn’t that good. You were just drunk and high.

4). Watch out for triggering associations. Beware of the family member or friend who tries to convince you that “a little won’t hurt you.” It will.

5). Go to a 12-step meeting. Please consider going to a 12-step meeting when you feel vulnerable or need support. This will remind you that you can get and stay sober, one day at a time, even during the holidays!